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Source: ABC News

"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Revelation 13:14-15


Studying how a set of conjoined twins know what the other is seeing has "validated" a ground-breaking approach to brain implants that could have come straight from the science fiction TV series Black Mirror.

Despite having separate brains, the twins in Canada can communicate thoughts and see or feel each other's sensory input, even if their respective eyes are closed, prompting scientists from a US-based artificial intelligence (AI) developer to take a closer look.

Dr Phillip Alveda, founding chief executive of Corticol.ai, said functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) showed the twins' brains were connected via a single passage which led into each thalamus.

"It's through about two million neurons, just two million, that they can convey emotion, awareness, sensation, sight, vision, hearing," he said.

"Now we have a blueprint for a direct interface from one brain to another."

He said his team had already pinpointed the thalamus as a potential target for an implant interface when they came across the conjoined twins in a documentary by the CBC.

"To find the twins and see the code between the different hemispheres of the brain and say, 'Oh my God, if we can replicate just that code, we'll be able to transmit the code for sure, it's like a validation'," Dr Alveda said.

Interface to be implanted within two years

Speaking at this week's Hybrid World Adelaide tech conference, Dr Alveda said a Rice and Yale university team had created an interface with the consistency of tissue paper that could be laid over the brain beneath the skull to decode and trigger neurons.

Funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where Dr Alveda was a former program director, the work is geared towards compensating for a person's blindness or deafness by delivering digital information directly into parts of the brain that process it.

He said the technology had been implanted in rodents and "near-human primates" and, within about two years, would be operating in the first human patients.

Dr Alveda said such work was helping scientists understand how vision or hearing was represented via "code in the brain and move work towards a technologist's wet dream of being able to see out of someone else's eyes".

"If I had an implant, and you had an implant, you could say: 'Hey, I wasn't able to make it to my daughter's recital, honey, so can you turn on the implant so I can watch?'"

Several episodes of the popular British series Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, portray technology that enables people to see or feel the world through another person's perspective — typically with disastrous results.

Implants to be made less invasive

Dr Alveda said validating the prospect of a thalamus interface meant it was "only a matter of time" until hardware was "made more miniaturised and more easily implantable".

"We can have telepathic communication, not just of vision, but of all our cognitive awareness," he said.

"Imagine that situation. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when."

Dr Alveda said regulations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meant "invasive" implants that required a skull to be opened could only be used to benefit people who were willing to take a surgical risk to overcome a "serious deficit".

"They're going to be inside people within two years," he said.

"But for you and I, we have to wait a few more generations for it to become less invasive. Maybe it will be in a baseball cap or a headband or eye glasses, but each six months we have a new generation that's smaller and more powerful."

Among other subjects, Dr Alveda talked about his team's project to develop a synthetic cerebellum.

His team has a focus on creating anthropomorphic, or humanised, AI, and is working towards creating synthetic personalities that people could trust.

Its first applications would be used for medicine and surgery and caring for the elderly, with Corticol.ai's initial version expected to be operating in about six months.

AI apocalypse a 'tempest in a teacup'

Dr Alveda opened his address with images from James Cameron's The Terminator and its sequels — a franchise in which artificial intelligence rises against its human creators and destroys the world as we know it.

He said he was not worried in the least about the prospect of an "AI apocalypse".

"This whole idea of the AI apocalypse where all of a sudden it's going to surprise you, that's fantasy. We're replacing system by system by system ... these things are not going to sneak up on you. They don't have agency. They don't have a physical body."

He said a friend once joked that worrying about the AI apocalypse was "like worrying about overpopulation on Alpha Centauri".

"We're not even at the star, much less going there anytime soon. It's a tempest in a teacup, in my eyes."


A new internet game is challenging users to commit suicide. The game originated on Facebook and is now circulating on WhatsApp. The sick suicide "game" dubbed “Momo” has been spreading on WhatsApp, prompting police to issue warnings about the shocking challenge..

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6th August 2018 PROPHETIC ISRAEL

When President Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem many people of faith quickly recognized the biblical significance of such a move. Trump, like King Cyrus before him, fulfilled biblical prophecy, by recognizing that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state and that the Jewish people deserve a righteous, free and sovereign Israel.

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